Save up to £497* a year -Compare Lots of Deals - Switch in Minutes. Already have an account with us? Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! A show about dragons and warfare and full frontal nudity set in a made-up fantasy land? This Article is related to: Television and tagged Amazon Prime, Gillian Flynn, TV Reviews, Utopia. Not that Flynn went into the project with the intention of twisting the COVID-19 knife. It’s conceivable. (Remember: “Widows” was also based on a British TV show.). Sign up to get alerts for sci-fi/ fantasy and receive television and entertainment email newsletters from our award-winning editorial team. To call it timely would be too generous and too thoughtless. Again, the best additions are those characters who weren’t in the UK version, including Rainn Wilson’s put-upon Dr Michael Stearns and John Cusack’s faintly sinister billionaire Dr Christie.

Utopia comes to Amazon Prime on Friday 25th September. Our best wishes for a productive day. The queasy pandemic subplot emerges when the eco-friendly synthetic meat his company has been testing in poor, public elementary schools is suspected of spreading a fatal flu strain. And a scrappy, cutthroat young woman (American Honey and Hellboy standout Sasha Lane) pop ups claiming to be the real Jessica Hyde. Six months into the pandemic’s assault on America, television is already deluging us with shallow, remotely shot portraits of life in quarantine (see: the CW’s Love in the Time of Corona) that, in their empty opportunism, are arguably far more offensive than Utopia. Gillian Flynn’s adaptation of the cult Channel 4 drama has some interesting new ideas but is lacking the style of its predecessor, says Huw Fullerton. Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox. I don’t believe that sensitivity requires the suppression of good art, because good art offers vital insight and perspective on the subjects it broaches, no matter what’s going on in the real world. At times, Flynn seems to be remixing reality rather than commenting on it. Generally speaking the action is slow and almost baggy, with events from the first episode of the original series not occurring until around halfway through the second of this reboot, and the sharp directorial choices and bright colours from Kelly’s version replaced by more bland visual storytelling.
Enter “Utopia,” Amazon Prime Video’s new original series that’s impossible to discuss without mentioning its timely premise. Without giving anything away, the stories of these two men deepen and change the original Utopia story in interesting ways that do offer a few surprises, as opposed to just “re-skinning” an old scene. Want something else to watch? Found, inexplicably, in a dead man’s house, it’s the manuscript of the anxiously awaited sequel to Dystopia—a cult comic about a girl named Jessica Hyde who is kidnapped, along with her scientist dad, by the evil Mr. Rabbit. Meanwhile, biotech mogul Dr. Kevin Christie (John Cusack), a scarf-clad social entrepreneur with Elon Musk arrogance, saunters around his gleaming corporate campus demanding of his inferiors: “What did you do today to earn your place in this crowded world?” (Along with Lane’s near-feral performance and LaThrop’s endearing vulnerability, Cusack is the show’s highlight.) (Many episodes are under 50 minutes, which is often the bellwether of streamlined television these days.) Also at FringeCon, Christopher Denham’s Arby—a raisin-scarfing little boy in a man’s body, who possesses all the diabolical eccentricity of a Coen Bros. villain—and an underling stalk the hotel halls on a mission to procure the comic at any cost, dispassionately murdering anyone who might possibly stand in their way. Near the end of its seventh episode (the last provided in advance), “Utopia” lands itself in the middle of a debate I’m not sure it wants. Masochistic journalist Camille Preaker and her blue-blooded family, from Sharp Objects, are the products of a backwards town bent on keeping women powerless. Overuse is a problem, too. This is entertainment, and any timeliness wasn’t invited by its creators — it was thrust upon the show by circumstance. [Review] Thrust into this parallel storyline is a frustrated virologist (Rainn Wilson’s Dr. Michael Stearns) who rages against a university that has ceased to support his research. Beats me.

Maybe current events make it difficult to judge the show on its own terms, but it’s not free from judgment either. Similarly, if you’re only invested in seeing direct parallels to your real-world experience, there’s still someone else who’s hoping to escape into an alternate timeline only tangentially connected to our own. Created, written and executive produced by Gillian Flynn—the writer behind Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, as well as Steve McQueen’s underrated 2018 film Widows—the cynical thriller follows a crew of nerds obsessed with a mysterious comic book that they believe holds clues about humanity’s dark future. There are obvious exceptions, when dissecting the weight of an excellent program is tied directly to its relevance, and before my pesky little trolls dig up eight old articles where I improperly lean on that particular adjective, I’ll admit: I’ve used it.
Huh, it’s almost like the conversation should’ve been focused elsewhere.

Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. Utopia is the title of both the series, which comes to Prime on Sept. 25, and the comic book at its center. Amateur conspiracy theorists have plenty to chew on (arguably too much by Episode 7), and the unsettling trail of breadcrumbs is dispersed well enough to keep hardened viewers engaged. Really, for fresh viewers this could be a brilliant slice of dark sci-fi that’s nothing like they’ve seen before. The vast majority of viewers will probably have never watched the UK original, have no clue as to the fates of its characters, or how the whole thing fits in to Deel’s syndrome.

Interviews with leading film and TV creators about their process and craft. National news covers the viral outbreak 24/7. The biggest problems lie in its characters, mainly the possible comic book character Jessica Hyde, who is simply too cold-blooded and underwritten to make for a compelling central figure. Check out our in-depth TV Guide. While watching the first couple of episodes of Utopia, it’s striking just how similar it is to the UK edition. While Jessica eventually escapes, Daddy Hyde remains in the monster’s clutches. Enjoy a family photography shoot for just £25! There are problems and pluses that exist no matter when someone watches — credit to the Chicago backdrop for helping distinguish the series’ overall look — and, ultimately, it’s just another spooky story in need of refinement. The rest of the crew are similarly flimsy, even if the performers (notably Desmin Borges and Cory Michael Smith) manage to elevate them above sketches. By entering your details, you are agreeing to Radio Times privacy policy. Wilson (Desmond Borges of You’re the Worst, in another lovably neurotic role) is a twitchy doomsday prepper with a bunker full of canned food under his front yard. Well… probably not. For more information about how we hold your personal data, please see our privacy policy. But does that mean it’s good? Timely. Utopia remake on Amazon Prime Video gets release date and trailer, Amazon Prime Video release dates 2020: major upcoming shows revealed, The best TV shows to watch on Amazon Prime Video UK. 'The Third Day' Finale Review: Episode 6 Delivers a Strong Ending to HBO's Wild Experiment, 'Social Distance' Review: Netflix's Quarantine-Shot Series Is a Bore, Best of Emmy Awards FYC 2020: Let the Games Begin, 10 Must-Watch Shows Arriving at Peacock's Launch.

Commentators who use “timely” to describe narratives about police misconduct or racial injustice simply haven’t been paying attention long enough.

When is the Utopia remake on Amazon Prime Video ? News, photos, videos and full episode guide, Utopia review: Amazon’s remake of the UK series is not a patch on the original. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our. Utopia just isn’t worth the pain. Still timely! Set in modern day Chicago, the eight-episode first season follows a group of comic book geeks who are fighting a mysterious organization for control of a graphic novel — and here’s where the relevance comes in — that may hold the key to ending a national pandemic. What is it supposed to mean, though? In the past, Flynn has justified her dark, violent thrillers by filling them with unique characters whose voices and storylines reveal profound social truths.

Protests erupt.

And in the first few episodes, that feeling is especially acute. A few fans on an Internet message board have coalesced around the suspicion that Dystopia is more than a story, convinced it presaged outbreaks of viruses such as Ebola and MERS.

“Utopia” is the sequel to “Dystopia,” which according to its obsessive fans, accurately predicted many of the diseases afflicted upon society over the last few decades, so it’s only logical to assume the follow-up will offer similarly clairvoyant foresights. We’ve all used it. Moreover, there is an argument to be made that TV has become too responsive to current events. The new puzzles website is now live - sign up now and enjoy a 7-day free trial! Trump’s election really crystallized that concept, as so many stories post-November 2016 felt related to the president, his supporters, or the many problems connected to both. Without getting into spoiler territory, it’s hard to say exactly how “Utopia’s” fictional pandemic differs from our real one, but its origin, dispersal, and effects are all tailor-made for a TV thriller, if not outright science fiction.

By and large, “timely” is a terrible word to use in the context of a review. I groaned when one episode opened with Jessica standing up to pee in a toilet with the bathroom door open and her gun trained on some hostages—not because I was shocked to see the arc of urine but because I was so exhausted by Utopia‘s attempts to shock me. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Its violence, while often cartoonish, is frequent, nihilistic and brutal. Could you ever justify releasing a TV series about a killer pandemic, that also hinges on an off-the-wall conspiracy theory, into a nation plagued by a killer pandemic and an off-the-wall conspiracy theory? Especially considering that the new coronavirus—with a global death toll fast approaching 1 million—has hit low-income communities and people of color the hardest, the juxtaposition of this particular brand of real-life suffering with gleeful cartoon violence feels insensitive at best. In fairness to the production team, they won’t have to worry too much about these comparisons.

And there’s a subplot about a deadly pandemic that escalates as the story progresses.

Starting with Gillian Flynn's Amazon series "Utopia," why we need to stop describing television as "timely." Bad? People need to know know that this one is different than so much of the mindless entertainment out there, because this show speaks to the moment. When you watch a show or film that feels particularly relevant to headline news, it’s almost instinctual to throw the word “timely” into your own headline. Affecting? Obviously timely. All rights reserved. This hour-long session at a Barrett & Coe studio will be tailored entirely to suit you.

The anthropomorphic bunny forces her father to invent terrifying new viruses to unleash upon the human race.